BOEM initiates environmental review for Maryland wind farm

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 07/06/2022 DOI
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced plans to conduct an environmental review of the first proposed wind energy project offshore Maryland. This week, the Department will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Construction and Operations Plan (COP) submitted by US Wind, LLC (US Wind).

The lease area is approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, and approximately nine nautical miles offshore Sussex County, Delaware. If approved, the development and construction phases of the US Wind project could support up to an estimated 2,679 jobs annually over seven years.

The publication of the NOI opens a 30-day public comment period to 8 July 2022 as part of the process to help BOEM determine the scope of its environmental review.

US Wind’s proposal includes the construction and operation of an offshore wind project with a total capacity between 1,100 and 2,000 MW of electricity to the Delmarva Peninsula, which could power as many as 650,000 homes in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia each year.

The wind farm will include the installation of up to 121 turbines, up to four offshore substation platforms, one meteorological tower and up to four offshore export cable corridors, which are planned to make landfall at 3 R’s Beach or Tower Road in the Delaware Seashore State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The NOI public comment period will help identify what BOEM should consider as part of its environmental review of US Wind’s COP. Throughout the scoping process, multiple opportunities exist to help BOEM determine the resources and issues, impact-producing factors, reasonable alternatives and potential mitigating measures that should be analyzed in the EIS.

During the public comment period, BOEM will hold three virtual public scoping meetings to inform the preparation of the EIS. Registration for the virtual public meetings and detailed information about the proposed wind energy facility, including how to comment, can be found on BOEM’s website.